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Using Genetically Modified Crops to Alleviate World Hunger

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This response will analyse and evaluate the scientific studies discussed in a source related to using genetically modified crops to alleviate world hunger. Suggested improvements and extensions to the investigation will be made as well as a conclusion.

Introduction

Gerry (2015) proposes that genetically modified crops can be utilised to assist in solving some of the world’s most worrisome issues such as world hunger, which affects over 800 million people worldwide. Crops can be genetically modified to grow in more extreme weather conditions such as droughts, and become resistant to pesticides, insects and diseases which greatly increase yield and could considerably reduce the number of undernourished people. Genetically modified soybeans, maize and cotton have been proven to contribute to a 22% yield increase, 37% pesticide use decrease, 39% pesticide cost decrease and a 68% profit increase regardless of the higher cost of genetically modified seeds. Farmers in underdeveloped countries received yield and profit gains between 14% and 60% higher than yield and profit gains in industrialised countries. GMO (genetically modified organism) crops will be of great use to feed a growing world population that “could reach 11 billion by 2100” (Carrington, 2014 cited in Gerry, 2015) and assist farmers in providing food during global warming, which may obstruct food production.

Analysis

This graph shows that GMO crops increased yields, decreased pesticide use and therefore decreased pesticide costs, and dramatically increased the farmer’s profit despite the higher cost of GMO seeds which only increased the production costs by 3.3%. This study measured the mean percentage difference of the yield, pesticide use and cost, production cost and profit. These specific crops were genetically modified to be insect-resistant thus the decrease in pesticide use. A cited article states that “yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops than for herbicide tolerant crops” (Klümper, 2014 cited in Gerry, 2015). Sample sizes and measures of variance were not reported in several studies used in this data collection which places doubt on the accuracy of these statistics. Overall, GMO crops have proven to be beneficial in increasing yield and profit dramatically which could assist in alleviating world hunger.

Figure 1: Overall Effects of Farming with GM Crops

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Feeding the World One Genetically Modified Tomato at a Time: A Scientific Perspective

Evaluation

Gerry (2015) states that genetically modified crops can increase yield, decrease pesticide use and increase profits dramatically although, several studies used to collect this data were not entirely precise. Some sample sizes and measures of variance were not reported in several studies used in this data collection resulting in the lack of knowledge of how dispersed each set of data was from the mean. However, 147 studies in total were executed to collect this information therefore, there were an abundance of reliable studies to nullify the unreliable because this study was based off of average yield gains, etc. It was also noted that heterogeneity was evident in the crops’ study inspection which could have affected the consistency of the results (Klümper, 2014 cited in Gerry, 2015).

In the future, it should be made sure that all studies measure sample sizes and variance or information from studies that do not comply should be exempt from the statistics to ensure complete accuracy. Gene editing techniques also need to be developed further to ensure homogeneity in edited genes for consistency in results.

Conclusion

Despite the proven success of GMO crops’ ability to produce higher yield and profit, and lower pesticide cost, it may be many years before they will be used to assist in alleviating world hunger due to the primitive GMO technology that may cause inconsistencies in results.

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Using Genetically Modified Crops to Alleviate World Hunger. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/using-genetically-modified-crops-to-alleviate-world-hunger/
“Using Genetically Modified Crops to Alleviate World Hunger.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/using-genetically-modified-crops-to-alleviate-world-hunger/
Using Genetically Modified Crops to Alleviate World Hunger. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/using-genetically-modified-crops-to-alleviate-world-hunger/> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Using Genetically Modified Crops to Alleviate World Hunger [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/using-genetically-modified-crops-to-alleviate-world-hunger/
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